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Essential oils - age old knowledge

Essential oils - age old knowledge

Essential oils are a natural aid to healthy regeneration and relaxation; they come from natural sources such as plants and are distilled into the oil format used widely in aromatherapy and other relaxing treatments.

Once known as aromatic oils, they have been used across the globe by many cultures for centuries. Their uses have varied in the past, but their most important use today is in the treatment of stress and allowing the patient or user to feel calm and serene for the period of use.

Perhaps the most well known of the holistic treatments for stress is that of aromatherapy, the use of smells and scents as a treatment. Botanical oils make up the main constituents of this therapy and come from botanicals such as rose, lemon, lavender and peppermint. The essential oils themselves are produced through a method of distillation, and can be used by adding to a warm bath (using a dispersant like milk) or applied to the skin, when diluted in a carrier oil, through massage. They are designed to alleviate stress and tension, soothe, care for the skin and invigorate the entire body.

As well as seemingly acting on the symptoms of stress, essential oils can help to change our moods, by alleviating fatigue we feel more alert, we become less anxious and generally more relaxed. When we inhale the scent they are thought to work on the brain and the nervous system through the stimulation of the olfactory nerves.

Essential oils, as previously mentioned, are derived from plants, flowers, trees, fruit, bark, grasses and seeds which are known to posses distinctive psychological and physiological properties all geared to improving your well being. In total there thought to be about 150 essential oils, each one has its own supposed specialist application, from depression to being an anti inflammatory, muscle soothing to calming of stress.

Very popular in the Far East, the use of essential oils is becoming more and more widespread and many spas now offer an aromatherapy treatment to go alongside a massage or other relaxing therapy. Acupuncturists and reflexologists are known to use the scent of lemon and lavender to aid the relaxation process and help the patient get the most out of the treatment. Essential oils are not restricted to therapies; they are widely available in stores allowing you to create a haven within your home using the specific essential oils to suit your needs.

Whether you have been for a long run and need to soothe aching muscles and joints, to a difficult day at work hunched over your computer fighting 'fires', essential oils are a great place to start the relaxation process, the home should be a place where you can find your peace and aromatherapy can play an important part in achieving this. The advantage to this sort of treatment is that it is inexpensive and with a little background reading you can learn to care for yourself and others in next to no time. Remember that well being doesn't have to be hard; it can be as easy as a deep relaxing bath with lemon and lavender aromatherapy oils.